Updated 27 October 2015

How Unathi lost 28kg

“I wanted to go back to being my husband’s sexy girlfriend,” says TV and radio personality Unathi Msengana.


Idols judge Unathi Msengana has received plenty of attention over the last couple of years after her dramatic weight loss and has promised to let her fans in on the secret to her success.

In June this year Unathi announced that she was launching a series of seminars to help women lose weight and to introduce fans to the people and methods that have helped her shed (and keep off) the kilos. 

The seminars called A Better You, promises to help not only those struggling to lose weight, but also those who need to pack on the pounds.

Her weight struggles came later

As a South African hockey and first-team squash player, Unathi Msengana had no weight problems when she was growing up.

But fast-forward a few years, add a busy work schedule and two babies, and weight management was no longer easy.

After her sons were born, Unathi realised the extra centimetres weren’t going away.

“I tend to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy,” she said.

She packed on the kilos during her first pregnancy and it took more than a year to lose the weight.

When she fell pregnant again, Unathi hit an all-time high on the scale, having given in to her body’s carb cravings: toasted sandwiches and potatoes washed down with chocolate milk.

The extra weight started affecting how she felt about her body and she desperately wanted to reclaim the figure she once had.

“I didn’t want to look like my husband’s aunty – I wanted to go back to being his sexy girlfriend.”

Today she’s trimmed 28kg off her frame and once again has the athletic body she had at varsity.

The change in 2013

It was a nudge from a pal that gave Unathi the motivation she needed. “A colleague challenged me to do the Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon. I decided to do it. I never back down from a challenge.”

Unathi realised that exercise alone wasn’t going to help her reach her goal weight, but she also knew quick-fix diets had failed her in the past. So she swapped extra helpings of carbs for veggies, included healthy proteins and banished chocolate milk in favour of water.

“I felt much healthier and had more energy. Had I not started this weight-loss regime, I’d never have been able to take on the Unlimited Dusi. I probably wouldn’t even have been able to fit into the canoe!”

Her training was intense: “I paddled for an hour and a half every day – which works out to about 10km per day – and straight after that I’d hit the road for a six-kay jog.”

Fast forward to 2015 and Unathi has kept of the pounds. Here she takes a selfie for her Instagram account where she says she'll be focussing on her core, arms and legs:

how unathi lost weight

Unathi’s Tips

Set goals. “Buy a garment you’re aiming to fit into, but don’t get on the scale.”

Be focused. “I always push myself to the best of my ability.”

Have a love for the game. “I’m feeling fit and strong and love the discipline involved in training.”

Unati's vital statistics:

Height: 1.74m
Total Weight Lost:
Time required to reach current weight:
1 year

Read more:

How Liezl lost 45kg

How I lost weight – part 6

The 101kg weight-loss miracle


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Looking younger »

Can maple leaves help you look younger?

New research has found that maple leaf extract can help you look years younger.

Killer foods »

Wild mushrooms a 'silent killer'

Health practitioners are warning people to stay away from wild mushrooms.